Aside from the puzzling fact that Pantone picked two colours this year not one (I mean I’m indecisive too, but come on… just save one for next year!) I actually really like this year’s colours. Rose quartz and serenity (aka pale rose pink and soft, sky blue) are soft, dreamy and romantic colours.
But therein lies the problem with them too. They are very sugary and very floaty – if you know what I mean – and there’s lots of potential for a sickly-sweet room scheme if you go overboard either them. I speak from experience here! I decorated my own home with pastels and made some mistakes along the way, so here are my tips to using pale pink and blue at home along with some beautiful images to show you how to get it right.
As much as I talk about being a minimalist (I am!) and loving natural materials (I do!) there’s something about a pastel shade that just speaks to me and I’m a firm believer in only buying things you absolutely love. So when it came to decorating my own home although I started off with Scandi minimal intentions, I found more and more pastel accessories just kept creeping in. A rose pink eiderdown here, a Cath Kidston cushion there. I even went into John Lewis to buy a white linen window blind and came out with a pastel blue polka dot one instead.
So at first I went with it. I figured that I loved every individual piece so how could it not work all together? Then I stepped back. And took a few photos. And realised I’d created a candy coloured wonderland that would better suit a 9 year old girl.
Here’s the thing. If you start with a white or cream backdrop then add pastels you end up with a cloud-like, fluffy scheme with absolutely nothing to anchor it or add some edge. So when I introduced all those pastels shades I should have added a contrasting darker tone or more vintage / industrial element to tie it all together.
These four images are perfect examples of how to get it right. Take a look at the lovely image above – the concrete and reclaimed wood coffee table adds the perfect contrast to the soft blue sofa and pink accessories. Likewise the rose pink bed linen (top) has been given a contrasting edge by the reclaimed wooden bedside table and bed frame. The pink home office is a great example of how adding monochrome accents ensures a pastel room looks pretty without being saccharine. And the image below adds in a dash of vintage with the scruffed-up reclaimed wooden bench, providing a textural contrast to the pale pink cushion. Simple!
What do you think of Pantone’s colours of the year for 2016? Are you a fan of pastels or are they just too sugary for you?